Consumer confidence provided a solid boost to Maine’s housing market in September with record sales for the month, according to a report issued Tuesday.

Buyers purchased 1,866 homes in September, the highest sales volume for the month in 20 years, the Maine Association of Realtors reported Tuesday.

Sales of existing single-family homes increased by 11 percent statewide in September compared with a year earlier and the median home sales price increased by 6.4 percent to $228,750, according to the association. The median indicates that half of homes sold for more money and half sold for less.

“We continue to see buyers in the market,” said Peter Harrington, president of the association and a broker/partner with Malone Commercial Brokers in Portland.

“The low unemployment rate, consumer confidence, job security and low interest rates – we think that is really what has been driving the market.”

Strong sales last month brought the annual total 0.8 percent higher than the same time in 2018, Maine’s best year on record, Harrington added.

Maine home sales for the three-month period ending Sept. 30 increased by 4.5 percent from the same period a year earlier, to 5,870 sales, while the median sales price for the three-month period increased by 4.6 percent to $230,000.

Despite analyst predictions that Maine’s real estate market would cool this year, demand for housing remains strong.

Last September, the median time that a home in Cumberland County was on the market was 19 days, said Dava Davin, a broker at Portside Real Estate Group in Falmouth. This year, the median time on market was 14 days.

Over the summer, the median time on the market was seven or eight days, which means some homes were sold within a day or two of listing, she said.

Even if the market cools, it will stay strong, she added.

“It might start to correct, but I don’t think we will see a huge change,” Davin said.

Nationally, sales of existing single-family homes increased by 3.9 percent in September from a year earlier, while the median home sales price rose 6.1 percent to $275,100, according to the National Association of Realtors. Regional sales in the Northeast were up by 1.5 percent, and the regional median price increased by 5.2 percent to $301,100, it said.

The biggest Maine sales increase by county for the three-month period compared to 2018 was 28.4 percent in Washington County, while the biggest sales decrease was 12.1 percent in Waldo County, the report said.

The biggest boost in median sales price for the three-month period ending Sept. 30 occurred in Piscataquis County, where it increased by 35 percent from a year earlier to $135,000, the report said. The biggest median price decrease occurred in Knox County, where it fell by 10.4 percent from the same period of 2018 to $235,000.

Staff Writer Peter McGuire contributed to this report.

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